Hey Guys! Everyone meet Ashley Sayles!
Check out her feature interview with Not Just Nurses founder Brianna Bradley below:
When asked, “How do you live the mantra of Not Just Nurses each day? Ashley replied, “Just a Nurse” is an oxymoronic phrase. On any given day, a nurse is your social worker, a pharmacist, a chaplain, a parent, a chef, a housekeeper, a therapist and/or a physician- and that just during their shift! When we go home, we’re spouses, children, caretakers, students, hikers, runners, parents/ grandparents, travelers, fashionistas, social media personalities, bloggers, models, the list goes on. Ashley Sayles is a pediatric nurse practitioner from Jamaica Queens, NYC. She started her nursing journey a few years back. She graduated with her BSN in 2014 and started working in the nursing field in 2015. Ashley also obtained her Master’s degree in 2017, both from John’s Hopkins University.
Ashley goes on to say, “For me, I remind myself everyday that being a nurse (or nurse practitioner) means so much more than the duties described in my job description.” She reminds herself that there is always room to learn and grow and that she would be limiting herself if she buys into the “just a nurse” mindset. Ashley went back to school to become a pediatric primary care nurse practitioner because she values the impact a nurse practitioner can make in preventive care for children. She started to teach pediatric clinical to help mold future pediatric nurses be independent thinkers, empathic providers, and to acknowledge how much they have to offer our profession in their own unique way. Lastly, Ashley shares her journey to and through nursing to help inspire other people with great life experiences to consider nursing no matter what reservations they may have about their ability to do well.
One piece of advice that Ashley would give to nursing students or aspiring nurses is, “nursing students and aspiring nurses bring a lot to the table and should always remember that! “ Nursing is a profession that thrives off each nurse’s individual experiences, talents and interests and our ability to collaboratively integrate our difference into excellent patient care.” She adds, “While some aspiring nurses will have experience in the medical field they can apply to their nursing practice, many, like myself, will not and will need to find ways to apply the experience they do have to nursing.” Ashley has always wanted to work with children. She used her experience working with a mentor-ship program for young girls in college as a way to help her relate to young female patients that she may encounter in her practice. She also tapped into her personal experience as a pediatric patient to remind herself how to care and be empathic towards a hospitalized pediatric patient in ways she would have liked to be cared for. She goes on to explain, “If you’ve ever worked retail, tap into your customer service with smile skills to work through difficult patient and family situations. If you were a server, remember your multitasking skills and keeping orders straight in your head. You’d be surprised how much you learn about being a nurse through every other experience you’ve had in life- don’t be afraid to show them off!”
I asked Ashley how she uses her journey to inspire others and spread love. Her response left me in tears! She replied, “This past year, I decided to be a bit more candid about my life on social media. I shared my personal and professional journeys with my small but loyal following to let them know I am not perfect by any means and that I make many mistakes. I shared details about my failed marriage and being a domestic violence survivor while working full time as a PICU nurse, pursuing my master’s degree. This was not to show how amazing I am, but to show how possible it is for anyone who may be second guessing themselves. I find that on social media we see LOTS of ups and we fail to celebrate overcoming downs and I want to change that. I want to show the fabulous life of nursing- the financial freedom, the amazing medical successes we witness everyday, but I think it’s important to talk about the days we dread as well. Returning to work after being bullied by a peer deserves just as much praise and acknowledgment as graduating with your bachelors or passing NCLEX! While some things just “come with the job,” I feel it’s important that we create a space to discuss those things in order to prevent nurse burnout and increase our morale.”
Ashley is the epitome of what Not Just Nurses embodies! We value our downfalls just as much as our success. We want to continue pushing the narrative that anything is possible and showing how we overcome our lows helps others with their journeys as well! Because let’s face it we don’t overcome things to keep how we over came it a secret!